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Let It Ride by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Album: Bachman-Turner Overdrive IIReleased: 1973Charted:
  • Randy Bachman and Fred Turner of Bachman-Turner Overdrive got the idea for this song when they were driving to a gig in New Orleans.

    As Bachman tells it, they were driving on a highway when a few truckers decided to have some fun with the musicians, who were riding in the little van from Canada. The truckers boxed them in and slowed down to a crawl. When they finally turned into a truck stop, Randy and Fred followed them with the intent of giving them a good talking to. Unfortunately, in the words of Randy Bachman, "The trucker looked like a Volkswagen with a head." The truckers had a good laugh and told the band that they needed to learn to "Let it ride."

    Bachman and Turner had never heard that expression before, but they liked the sound of it: it meant to just relax and not let things upset you. When they got to New Orleans, they wrote the song in their dressing room.
  • The distinctive guitar riff in this song is something Randy Bachman came up with after listening to a classical piece by Antonin Dvorak called "Piano Concerto in D." He transposed a chord progression he heard in the piece to guitar, which sounded great.

    Bachman believes that pretty much any piece of modern music is based on something that came before. When we spoke with him in 2014, he said: "You've got to get them, reshape them, and hopefully they are reshaped enough that you can call it original."
  • All of the background vocals were sung by Fred Turner, which caused a flanging effect that Randy Bachman liked. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jim - Aurora, CO
  • Does this song's intro sound similar to that of "Long Train Runnin'" by the Doobie Brothers? Randy Bachman thinks so. He says that the Doobie Brothers were sharing a dressing room with him and Fred Turner the night they came up with "Let It Ride," and the Doobies nicked the riff for their song.
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Comments: 12

About the Doobie Brothers ripping off this song's guitar riff for "Long Train Runnin'": The Doobies' side of the story is that after one of their gigs, BTO came backstage to learn the technique from them! NB "The Captain and Me'' was released nine months before "Bachman-Turner Overdrive II''.Birdman_euston - London, Uk
Most of BTO's hit songs were based on current phrases. Let it Ride, Takin care of Business, Lookin Out for # One.Jim - West Palm Beach, Fl
Hmmm, I wonder if the trucker story was really meant for roll on down the highway, would make more sense since he talks about truckers, and letting it roll. Let it ride is about a relationshipChuck - South Deerfield, Ma, Ma
Yes Don. I actually have that self titled Ironhorse album.His bandmates wer Tom Sparks,John Pierce, and Mike Baird.It was released in 1979Randy - Portage, In
Randy Bachman was a member of Guess Who, but left the group shortly after the success of American Woman because Burton and the rest of the band were sliding heavily into the drug scene of the 60s, and Randy is Mormon, so he wanted out. The only people he could find to play with him were his brothers and Fred Turner. Randy was told, after he left Guess Who, that he would never make it "straight and clean" in the rock world, so he was very proud of his accomplishment of being one of the greatest rock acts of all time.Cory - Olds, Ab
Bachman was for sure. I don't recall if Turner was or not.Charles - Glenside, Pa
Great song...weren't Bachman and Turner members of the Guess Who? And does anyone out there remember when Randy Bachman fronted a group called Ironhorse?Don - Indianapolis, In
Don't wanna release that Iblis...Matthew - Milford, Ma
No, seriously, I think the lyrics for this song coincide with Sonic's story in "Sonic the Hedgehog" for the Xbox 360? I know that it's just a coincidence, but it's still rather interesting... wait, were you agreeing with me? But, anyway, this is definitely an awesome song.Matthew - Milford, Ma
BTO could create such powerful, driving sounds--just the most powerful chords ever. Great stuff!Guy - Woodinville, Wa
Is it just me, or do the lyrics for this song coincide with Sonic's story in "Sonic the Hedgehog" for the Xbox 360?Matthew - Milford, Ma
God I really wanted this song on songfacts. It's my favorite by BTO.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
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